Archive for the ‘International Affairs’ Category

Allt handlar om Europa

måndag, september 17th, 2018

Hur går det för Europeiska unionen så här åtta månader före EU-valet? Det är över ett halvt år kvar till världens största demokratihändelse, men det lönar sig att börjar prata om den redan nu, också vid Aalto.

I somras besökte AUS styrelse Bryssel för att framföra hälsningar från Aaltos studerande till EU:s beslutsfattare och för att diskutera EU-samarbetet och aktuella teman i unionen, såsom globalisering, cirkulär ekonomi och digitalisering. I vårt resesällskap ingick också en delegation från vår samarbetsstudentkår Tsinghua, och tillsammans träffade vi bland annat kommissionär Jyrki Katainen.

Mycket har hänt efter EU-parlamentsvalet 2014.

EU-områdets ekonomi växer igen, men både flyktingkrisen och den aldrig tidigare upplevda utträdesprocessen för en medlemsstat har satt unionens enighet på prov. Trots spänningarna har Brexitförhandlingarna påmint euopéerna om hur mycket EU påverkar vårt dagliga liv.

Det är unikt att vi i EU kan se den fria rörligheten för människor, tankar och saker som en självklarhet. EU:s centrala värden är en förutsättning för ett utbildnings- och forskningssamarbete i världsklass också i den internationella Aaltogemenskapen.

Taloustutkimus gjorde nyligen en undersökning som visar att 89 procent av de finländska unga identifierar sig som EU-medborgare och att 81 procent ser EU-medlemskapet som något positivt.

Av undersökningen framgår också EU:s roll som global problemlösare. Våra största samhälleliga utmaningar, såsom klimatförändringen och omvälvningen i arbetslivet, går inte att lösa på nationell nivå.

I det kommande EU-valet väljs ett nytt EU-parlament som stiftar EU:s lagar jämsides med ministerrådet som består av medlemsländernas regeringar. Finlands EU-linje bestäms därmed också i riksdagsvalet som ordnas samma vår.

Det parti som vinner valet leder inte bara Finland utan också Europa: de kommande ministrarna har ansvaret för att leda EU under Finlands ordförandeskap hösten 2019 och möjlighet att påverka EU:s riktning. Också Finlands framtida kommissionär torde bestämmas enligt resultatet i riksdagsvalet.

Det gäller alltså att se hela valvåren som en helhet – vi utformar vår gemensamma framtid på alla beslutsnivåer.

Nu är det dags för studentgenerationen att säga vilken framtid vi vill ha.

Under hösten och början av året kommer AUS att med tanke på valvåren lyfta upp studenternas viktiga framtidsteman till diskussion. Hur vill du att Europa ska utvecklas? De beslut som fattas nu har störst inverkan på just våra möjligheter.

Rosa Väisänen
Intressebevakningssakkunnig (internationella ärenden och nya studenter)

Welcome to Espoo – let’s develop the community together!

torsdag, augusti 30th, 2018

Why did you come to Finland?

I’ve heard that’s the question people with foreign background are most often asked here. I’m not going to ask that. Of course you came to Finland! It’s the happiest country in the world with top quality education and a super active student culture. We have fresh air, lush nature (and snow!), room to breathe and to develop yourself. Now it’s up to you to make the most of your journey in the land of Nokia, Rovio and Junction (all from Espoo, by the way)!

I’m especially happy you chose to study in Espoo! Espoo is the second largest city in Finland (with 279,044 inhabitans, to be precise) and you’re one of the about 18,500 students in town. Innovation is a word you cannot avoid when talking about Espoo – we’re home to the biggest innovation ecosystem in Northern Europe, Espoo Innovation Garden, and we were named the Most Intelligent Community in the World in 2018. Not bad, eh?

Maybe the best thing about the innovation ecosystem in Espoo is that it’s strongly based on the idea of cooperation, peer-support and community, so don’t hesitate to get involved. Your journey into the community might start in the student organizations, continue to the startup scene, evolve to masters thesis work at one of the research organizations or companies, and before you notice, you’ve decided to stay here. All it takes is a curious mind, an active attitude, and building your networks from the day one.

Espoo is one of the most international cities in Finland – currently home to 155 different nationalities. According to estimations, the amount of foreign language speakers in Espoo will double by 2030, when we’ll have 30% of the working age population not speaking Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. We encourage everyone to learn Finnish or Swedish, as it makes integration into the job market and into the society much easier, but we also want it to be easy to settle down in Espoo and to use the services you are entitled to as our resident.

In 2017, the city council made the decision to introduce English as one of the languages of service in Espoo. We’re the first city in Finland to do this, and as there is no guide book for a process this size, we need your help. Please share your ideas and experiences about public services (e.g. health care, libraries, sport venues) and help us develop a city that works for everyone. The survey is open until 10.9.2018.

Kiitos paljon, and once again, a warm welcome to Espoo. we’re happy you decided to study here!

Milla Ovaska

The writer works as the Head of International Affairs in the City of Espoo and her favourite lunch spot in Otaniemi is in Dipoli. See you around!

P.S. My colleagues at VisitEspoo would get angry at me if I forgot to mention how awesome nature and culture Espoo has! National park, island hopping, museums and activity parks can all be found at www.visitespoo.fi

Kina som exempel för Aaltogemenskapen

måndag, juni 11th, 2018

Den sittande och den föregående styrelsen för Aalto-universitetets studentkår besökte Kina och Sydkorea i början av maj för att bekanta sig med den lokala studentverksamheten. Här berättar styrelsemedlemmarna Mikael Liimatainen och Julius Luukkanen om behållningen av resan.

AUS delegation i Beijing

Den första veckan av Kinaresan tillbringades till största delen i Shanghai (vår studentcentrumsdelegation tillbringade den här veckan i Sydkorea, här kan du läsa mer) och den andra veckan tillbringades i Beijing som gäster hos studentkåren vid Tsinghua-universitetet.

Syftet med studieresan var att fördjupa deltagarnas och därigenom studentkårens insikter i universitets- och studentlivet utanför Finlands gränser. Kina erbjuder den perfekta miljön för det här eftersom landet är så annorlunda än Finland.

Till den viktigaste behållningen av resan hör att båda länderna trots sina olikheter tampas med samma typ av problem. Exempelvis integreringen av utländska studenter i den lokala studentgemenskapen och upprätthållandet av goda förbindelser med universitetet.

Kinesernas och finländarnas perspektiv och lösningar skiljer sig betydligt från varandra. ”Sharing best practices” och ”benchmarking” lyckades alltså bra. Att utvidga sitt tänk och bekanta sig med olika lösningar piggar upp och bidrar med nya synvinklar i AUS framtida verksamhet.

Samtidigt utvecklade delegationen sina globala färdigheter – eller rättare sagt lärde sig att ta hänsyn till kulturella skillnader och använda ett främmande språk i både sakliga och lättsamma samtal.

I dagens värld är internationella färdigheter ytterst viktiga. Det vi lärt oss hjälper oss att agera bättre också i vår egen studentkår som blir allt mer internationell, och på det sättet sprids lärdomarna till andra aktörer i Aaltogemenskapen.

Våra kinesiska värdar, personalen och beslutsfattarna vid Tsinghua-universitetet lärde vi känna på många olika tillställningar. Vi fick också bekanta oss med företag och kulturellt värdefulla resmål.

Ett särskilt intressant ekonomiskt centrum i Kina är Shanghai, där vi främst undersökte finländarens möjligheter i Kina och fick ett finländskt perspektiv på Kina och verksamhetsmiljön där.

Både vår resa till Kina och kinesernas motsvarande resa till Europa finansieras primärt med externt stöd, fondpengar och företagssamarbete. Resans mål anknyter också på många sätt till företagslivet.

För finländska och andra västerländska företag är Kina ett mycket intressant affärsmål, vilket innebär att studenterna vid Aalto-universitetet också kan hitta sina framtida arbetsplatser där. Därför är det viktigt att föra fram AUS, aaltoiterna och Aalto på ett positivt sätt vid Kinas bästa universitet.

Vi hoppas att samarbetet i framtiden ger oss just det lilla, nödvändiga försprång som ger oss alla bättre möjligheter att lyckas i en av världens största ekonomier.

Det allmänna västerländska intresset för Kina medför också nya möjligheter för studentkåren inom företagssamarbetet och möjliggör viktiga, lärorika möten med påverkare både i Finland, Europa och Kina. Träffarna genererar i sin tur nya möjligheter för studentkårens påverkansarbete.

Mössor vid Kinesiska muren

Till varje besök hör naturligtvis en svarsvisit. Vi ser fram emot att senare i sommar välkomna våra gäster från Kina som besöker oss för att bekanta sig med den europeiska högskoleutbildningen och AUS verksamhet!

Mikael Liimatainen
styrelsemedlem i AUS (internationella frågor)

Julius Luukkanen
styrelsemedlem i AUS (konstnärlig verksamhet, varumärke, kommunikation, arkivet och museet)

Campusinspiration från Korea

tisdag, maj 29th, 2018

Styrelsen för Aalto-universitetets studentkår besökte Korea i maj för att bekanta sig med de lokala högskolornas campus. Resan väckte många tankar om hur Otnäs campus kunde utvecklas.

Internationella intryck på Korean Design Factorys campus. Yonsei. Bild: Emma Savela

AUS styrelse reser vart annat år till Kina för att besöka vänstudentkåren vid Tsinghua universitet i Beijing.

Varje gång kombinerar vi resan med ett annat resmål för att lära oss något nytt om hur andra universitet och studentkårer fungerar. Den här gången åkte en del av AUS delegation till Aaltos koreanska samarbetsuniversitet KAIST, Yonsei och SNU (Seoul National University).

På taket vid institutionen för miljöteknik testas nya typer av odlingsmetoder i en takträdgård. SNU. På bilden Rosa Väisänen, Niko Ferm och Tapio Hautamäki. Bild: Emma Savela

Högskoleutsikterna i Sydkorea är på många sätt intressanta. Trots kulturskillnaderna finns många likheter med Finland. PISA-framgångarna, utbildningsexpertisen, satsningarna på teknikutveckling… Också i Korea åldras befolkningen och behovet av inflyttande experter ökar, vilket betyder att också Korea försöker locka utländska studerande.

Visst finns det också skillnader. I motsats till Finlands nedskärningar i utbildningen syns ingen ände på de koreanska utbildnings- och forskningsinvesteringarna, och till exempel år 2015 hade rentav 69 procent av de unga vuxna i Sydkorea en högskoleutbildning. Siffran är den högsta i OECD-länderna och 28 procentenheter högre än motsvarande siffra i Finland (OECD 2017: Population with tertiary education).

Det fanns mycket att lära sig, förstå och benchmarka under besöket! På de fyra campus vi besökte sökte vi nya intryck särskilt med tanke på utvecklingen av Otnäs campus och AUS viktiga Studentcentrumsprojekt.

Trappa att sitta på i KAIST:s nya bibliotek. Ett exempel för vårt Studentcentrum? KAIST. Bild: Emma Savela

Idrotten är starkt närvarande på campus. KAIST. Bild: Emma Savela

Det allmänna intrycket av de koreanska universitetens campus är att utomhusområdena utnyttjats på ett särskilt bra sätt. Det finns gott om angenäma utomhusområden.

Till exempel på KAIST finns ett vattenelement på en central plats på campus (de lokala kallar det ”Ankdammen”), riktat mot den centrala öppna platsen och terrassområdet. Också på andra campus finns många trivsamma platser där studenterna kan umgås, studera, pausa eller till exempel äta en glass.

Sommartid betonas betydelsen av sådana ställen i Otnäs – på varma och soliga dagar är den lilla terrassen framför AUS huvudkontor full av människor som njuter av sommarvädret. Kanske vi också borde ha fler sådana ställen?

På en central plats på campus finns en damm omgiven av öppna platser och terrasser. KAIST. Bild: Emma Savela

På Yonsei campus bildar växtligheten och olika typer av ytmaterial angenäma platser för studenterna att vistas. Yonsei. Bild: Emma Savela

På campusområdena framträder också grönskan, växtligheten och den mångsidiga naturen.

Det sägs ofta att de bästa sidorna av Aaltos campus är grönskan och närheten till naturen. Ändå framhävs dessa teman bättre i Korea.

Även om naturen spelar en viktig roll på Otnäs campus har till exempel Otnäs havsnära karaktär och stränder knappt utnyttjats alls. Hur ofta märker man ens att vårt campus ligger så nära havet?

Otnäs har ändå en stor potential. I och med det kommande campusutvecklingsarbetet kommer också uteområdena med säkerhet att få mer uppmärksamhet.

Grön miljö på Yonseis huvudcampus. Yonsei. Bild: Emma Savela

Vad gäller Studentcentrumet finns inga direkta koreanska exempel som direkt skulle bidra till målen för projektvisionen på Otnäs campus.

På ett allmänt plan var benchmarkingen ändå mycket givande. Det var lärorikt att se hur konceptidéer på pappret förverkligats i en annorlunda miljö. Vi hittade exempel på både arbetsutrymmen, printerställen och klubblokaler.

Den personliga ingången till en festarrangörs föreningslokal. SNU. Bild: Emma Savela

Dansträningar i korridoren i det lokala studentcentrumet. SNU. Bild: Emma Savela

Rent allmänt verkar den koreanska universitetsvärlden vara rätt annorlunda än den finländska.

Det kanske mest minnesvärda vid varje universitet var de välmående- och jämlikhetsteman som är aktuella också vid Aalto, och deras synlighet på varje campus.

Mänskliga rättigheter och olika sätt att ingripa i trakasserier lyfts fram med stora affischer och på webben. Hjälp finns att få både per telefon och på campusens hjälpcentrum. Förutom idéer för att utveckla vårt campus fick vi alltså många nya idéer för AUS jämlikhetsarbete.

Affischer för mänskliga rättigheter på campus. Yonsei. Bild: Tapio Hautamäki

Det bästa med besöket var de många samtalen med lokala studenter och personal. Tack till KAIST, Yonsei, Korean Design Factory och SNU för samarbetet!

Emma Savela
AUS styrelsemedlem (fastigheter och studentcentrumet, boende och andra tjänster)

Rosa Väisänen
Intressebevakningssakkunnig (internationella ärenden och nya studenter)

Why Small and Medium Enterprises Need to Focus on Internationalization of Workforce

tisdag, augusti 22nd, 2017

In this blog post Alok Jain from AYY’s Corporate Relations section writes about the internationalization of Small and Medium Enterprises and how AYY aims to boost it by arranging My Career in Finland event for the international talent of the Aalto community.

In Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) internationalization of workforce might not be a priority. Usually, the need for the international workforce is felt when SMEs venture into a new market or when it requires specific skills. However, internationalization of workforce in SMEs can prove to be much more useful. In today’s turbulent industrial environment, internationalization can help SMEs in its survival and early recognition of opportunities.

SMEs ride on the wave of turbulence that exists in today’s business environment. The business environment of almost all the industry is changing at a fast pace and it is not going to stop in near future. Change is real and it is coming! The success of most of the SMEs today may be attributed to their ability to foresee opportunities in turbulence and capitalize on it. Consequently, it can be said with utmost certainty, that survival and success of SMEs in future will depend on its ability to ride the wave of turbulence in the respective industry. In such business environment, stability or equilibrium is the precursor to death. Organizational stability is the greatest risk for which SMEs need to plan its strategy. Strategic planning in a complex and unforeseen environment is always a difficult task, however; the positive aspect of a complex environment is that it has the capacity to self-organize! Therefore, to avoid organizational stability, it just needs to be disturbed! The dots do connect, and connect for better if the lattice is disturbed in just the right way!

This is achieved because bounded instability is the breeding ground for innovation. A perfectly stable organizational environment does not generate innovative solutions, nor does a highly chaotic one. A right mix of chaos can instill the capability to innovate. The right mix of chaos can disturb the organizational lattice and reorganize it with innovation! The right mix of chaos can help SMEs survive in the turbulent business environment. The right mix of chaos has always been a key for survival; it is the law of nature. Nature has created diversity to induce right mix of chaos and help survival. The species without diversity among it is the most vulnerable to external threat. This is because a lack of diversity makes it easier for external agents to plan their move against such species.

This is true for organizations as well. People are the chromosomes of organizations. People are the genetic material of the organization that creates diversity and induces right mix of chaos! Such diversity within the organization makes them less vulnerable to turbulent business environment. Internationalization of workforce, thus, is an urgent need of SMEs.

True, SMEs can hire international people to achieve this objective, but here’s the rub: this alone is not sufficient to bring the required diversity and right mix of chaos. The existing social order and organizational culture act as ‘antibodies’ to neutralize the advantage of diversity. Internationalization of workforce can be achieved when the organizational culture allows accommodating different opinions and encourages personal development.

To facilitate this AYY is organizing a career event targeted to international members of the community with the name ‘My Career in Finland’ on the 21st November of 2017. The event is expected to see participation from 400 international students representing 95 different nationality. The event features different career related workshops, talks and networking opportunity with companies. Register an employer stand at the event now! Follow this link to know more about the event.

Alok Jain
AYY’s Corporate Relations Section


Blog text Adapted from Pascale, R.T. ‘Surfing the edge of chaos’, Sloan management review, 1999.
http://sloanreview.mit.edu/article/surfing-the-edge-of-chaos/

Survey on health care services and health insurances of international students – the alarming results

torsdag, juni 15th, 2017

Students from outside of the EU/EEA need to have a residency permit to start their studies in Finland, and having a private health insurance is one of the requirements for getting a residency permit. Degree students of all nationalities are entitled to a home municipality in Finland and can use public healthcare services. Students from EU member countries can use public health care services with a European Health Insurance Card. All university students who are members of any student union can also use the Finnish Student Health Service (FSHS/YTHS). However, international students do not have access to KELA benefits (unless they work in Finland for a certain time period).

Aalto University Student Union (AYY) in cooperation with the Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) has conducted a survey on the use of these healthcare services and health insurances among international students in Finland. The survey was produced by the research foundation Otus. The anonymous survey collected 475 answers from students in Aalto and Helsinki universities, 246 of which were degree or exchange students from Aalto University.

In the survey we wanted to find out how well international students know the health service providers, how do the health insurances work and what kind of channels are used to get information on these issues. In the next sections we will first go over receiving care, then health insurances and issues with these.

 

Receiving treatment

In this section we will present results on how well international students received treatment. One of the questions was how well international students received required health care services while staying in Finland. These results are covered in table 1.

 

Table 1. Have you received the required care or health services in Finland? (n= 303)

 

There is a clear difference between students who have come from EU/EAA countries and students from outside EU/EEA in attainment of health care services. Only 64% of non-EU/EEA students said they felt they got the required treatment always or on most occasions, whereas 81% of EU/EEA students report the same.

Out of the students from both EU/ETA and other countries those who did not always receive the care they needed brought up different reasons. These results are represented in table 2.

 

Table 2. If you have not always received required healthcare, how often did you receive care despite these reasons? (n= 475) (NB. there was an option to choose several reasons)

 

The main reason for not getting treatment among participants was not knowing what their insurance covered. 64% of the respondents felt that unawareness of these issues lead to them receiving required treatment sometimes, seldom, or never at all. The other major reasons were not being aware of available services and being deemed not eligible for aid by health care services.

 

Health insurances used by international students

In this section we will go over different health insurances used by international students and their experiences with applying for compensation and dealing with insurance companies. These questions were asked only from students from outside EU/ETA for whom the insurance is required.

There are several health insurance providers international students use. The insurance recommended by Finnish authorities and universities is SIP Insurances, according to a tendering process done in the early 2010s by a consortium of universities. SIP Insurances have a market share of 26% among the respondents. As seen in table 3, other popular insurances are Swisscare (27%) and International Student Insurance (13%).

Table 3. Health insurance provider (n=323) 

 

The respondents were also asked about the process of acquiring an insurance. Only 38% of the respondents felt they had received enough information regarding the contents of the insurance and the terms of compensation, as seen in table 4. Buying an insurance does not seem to be a difficult process for the respondents, but it seems that students just get the insurance for the sake of getting the residency permit – without really knowing how the insurance functions or what its coverage is.

 

 

Table 4. Opinions on getting the insurance among students with insurance (n= 323)

As seen in table 5, the biggest problem of getting insurance was not knowing what kind of insurance one should buy, which 35% of respondents found to be an issue. 30% felt it was difficult to find information on the different available options. According to the official report the most popular source of information were university pages (32%), Migri web pages (22%), friends (21%) and Study in Finland web pages (19%).

Some students (4%) found that their general health, such as pre-existing conditions made it hard to get an insurance. This is extremely worrisome and against the principle of equality.

 

Table 5. Issues when getting the insurance (n=323)

 

Table 6. shows the issues stated above as complied into different insurance providers. Note that in some of these the amount of answers was very low.

 

‘Table 6. Insurances as complied by different providers.

 

Conclusion

International students are required to have a private health insurance in order to commence their studies in Finland, but they are left alone with the problems they face with insurances. There is not enough information provided by the authorities, Study in Finland page or the universities, and when compared to similar pages in other European countries, the level of detail on Finnish pages is rather low.

Finnish authorities and universities only thinking about providing international students with degrees is unsustainable. A more holistic approach to internationalisation of universities is needed in Finland. Putting efforts into developing degrees and teaching is important, but if basic services like health care, banking or immigration services have grave problems, Finland is hardly a dream destination. What needs to be taken into account is the whole experience of integrating international students into the Finnish society, and problems with basic needs such as healthcare reflect negatively on the image of Finnish education.

International students have the right to a well-functioning, affordable and accessible insurance, as well as proper information on healthcare and health insurances. Issues with health care and adequate compensation for health care costs need to be taken very seriously. If Finland truly wants to welcome its international students, all parties involved need to step up their game. A new tendering process is needed, as the health insurance now recommended by the universities and authorities has the gravest problems and lowest customer satisfaction among students. Immigration authorities, universities and the National Agency for Education need to sit down together and start developing solutions.

 

Milla Ovaska, Specialist, International Affairs

Aalto University Student Union

contact: international(at)ayy.fi

Day 7 with Tsinghua: Finnish business and farewell to our friends

onsdag, augusti 31st, 2016

Theme for the last day of Tsinghua University student visit was Finnish companies and business. We visited Metso, a big Finnish exchange-listed machinery company serving eg. mining, construction, oil and gas, pulp, paper and process industries and Supercell, a successful gaming company behind HayDay and Clash of Clans. The day was concluded by a happy farewell dinner with our friends.

Our visit at Metso began with a bus ride to Metso Flow Control facility at Hakkila, Vantaa where the primary manufacturing focus is on valves. We were welcomed by the Head of Offering Management Taina Rajala who introduced us to the company.

The visit continued with an interesting tour at the manufacturing floor. Robots picking up components to be assembled into products verified the vision of a modern and progressive facility and company. One other thing that really caught our Chinese friends’ attention was the safety of all personnel, which was visible all around the facility. Even though most of our group weren’t previously familiar with the technology, there was a great deal of interesting things to see. It was our common opinion that Metso would certainly be an interesting and attractive employer.

Our visitor group at Metso Flow Control facility in Vantaa. Safety first!

Our visitor group at Metso Flow Control facility in Vantaa. Safety first!

After Metso we visited Supercell at their HQ in Ruoholahti. This was one of the most anticipated visits for our guests and they had a lot of user feedback and suggestions about the successful Clash Royale mobile game. During the visit we were told about the ideology around which the whole company is built: best people make best games. It was interesting to see the freedom and independence of the Supercell. For example the CEO Ilkka Paananen has little power on what the teams decide to do and people are free to switch teams. We want to thank our AYY board alumni Janne Peltola for hosting the visit!

CEO Ilkka Paananen was also one of the founding members of the hugely successful and international Slush startup event so it was only natural to invite Slush members Josefiina Kotilainen and Olga Balakina along to tell our guests what it is all about. The Aalto University Startup ecosystem intrigued us a lot and our Chinese friends found it especially interesting how large portion of it is accomplished volunteers and students.

Taste of super awesome mobile gaming atmosphere at Supercell!

Taste of super awesome mobile gaming atmosphere at Supercell!

In the evening we had to bid our dear friends farewell. We had a nice dinner and finnish dishes including roast reindeer, meatballs and salmon. The entire week was over very fast with interesting program and interesting people. It was very nice to get to know our guests and to know that the connection between us and our student unions will last.

AYY would like to thank Tsinghua Student Union for precious gifts and our partner Metso for support!

Tsinghua university student union sightseeing in Helsinki and academic dinner party with Aalto-Tsinghua startup bridge

måndag, augusti 8th, 2016

Saturday with our guests started with introducing the wonders of our public transport system by taking the bus 102T. The view of coastal Espoo got compliments from the Tsinghua students and we discussed the history of Helsinki and the differences between Helsinki and Beijin on our way to Kamppi.

For our sightseeing tour we chose to walk from Kamppi to Stockmann and from there to the Senate Square, talking about the architecture and different landmark buildings like the modern arts museum on the way as well as pointing out the main spots for shopping. It seems like everything in Finland is currently being renovated but this did not seem to bother our guests much, likely because construction sites are such a common sight in China.

We left our guests off at the Market Square to have a free reign on how to spend the afternoon in Helsinki and went off to prepare for the main event of the day which was an introduction to the academic sitsi party culture! The dinner party was at Aalto Design Factory in Otaniemi and attending were our guests, the Aalto-Tsinghua startup bridge group and a number of former AYY board members. The sitsi party was a great success, with brilliant musical performances by some of the guests, remembering past visits between Aalto and Tsinghua and an all-vegan menu featuring the Finnish innovation pulled oats.

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View from the sitsi party on saturday.

The second day in our schedule was on the more relaxed side in anticipation for the upcoming week full of formal visits from the morning until late in the day.

Hallitus esittäytyy: Rosa Väisänen

lördag, mars 19th, 2016

Well hello there, sweet thing!

RosaI’m Rosa, one of the four advocacy wizards in the board of AYY and a fourth-year architecture student. My sectors are international affairs, new students and development cooperation, a groovy combination of educational policies, juicy meetings and organizational activities. After three years in the board of my dear guild and two years as a volunteer at AYY’s international sector I made the best decision of my life and applied for the board and, well, here I am, still quite startled that I get to be surrounded by this bright community every day.

This year my goal is to encourage and support associations in their internationalization objectives, develop Aalto’s student mobility and promote the acknowledgement of tutoring as an important part of the reception, orientation and engagement of new students both to the academic and student community. Golden projects, right? In addition to these my mind will be dancing with questions concerning the new tuition fee system: as you might already know, Aalto University is preparing the tuition fee system for non EU-ETA students and the system will start operating in 2017.

This of course means big changes in our university: what does this mean to the programs, services and teaching? What about internationalization and the number of students? In this new situation one of my projects is to update AYY’s policy paper on tuition fees. The aim is to have a broad opinion on how the system should work and what has to be done when the university starts charging our students. If you’re interested in influencing this, I’d love to have you at the tuition fee workshop on the 30th of March, 17.30 at the rooftop sauna of Vaasankatu 10. Don’t hesitate to contact me whether it is about tuition fees or anything else, I am here for your questions and comments!

Lots of love,

Rosa

P.S. Check out the background material on tuition fee policy paper and send your comments to international@ayy.fi .